Robert L. Stenander II


Robert L. Stenander II, 78, of Galesburg, Illinois, died Saturday, January 27, 2024.

Robert (Bob) was born March 19, 1945, in Rockford, Illinois, the only son of Robert L. and Lorraine (Halsey) Stenander. Bob attended Iowa Wesleyan University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and studied abroad in the country formerly known as Czechoslovakia. He then went on to earn his Juris Doctorate from Drake University School of Law. Bob was a very proud member of the Drake Law Review and the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He served as the advisor for the University of Iowa Phi Delta Theta chapter and later as a founding member and the Chairman of the Illinois Gamma Chapter Advisory Board for Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois.

Bob married Alice Kivlahan at St. Thomas Moore Catholic Church in Iowa City, Iowa, on May 5, 1973. They have three children Robert L. (Katherine) Stenander III of Chicago, Illinois, Mary Alice Stenander Vick of Roanoke, Texas, and Susan L. Stenander of Evanston, Illinois. Bob had six grandchildren (Hunter, Brayden, Jack, Ryan, Hope and Thomas) and many beloved pets over the years.

Out of college, Bob moved to Iowa City, Iowa and clerked at the Iowa State Attorney General’s Office. He was appointed district court judge and later named chief magistrate. He then established a private practice in Tipton, Iowa, where he practiced law for many years. Bob ran for State’s Attorney with Alice as his campaign manager but came up short after a tough race. Bob was well-known for his quick wit, sharp legal mind, and frank advice.

Bob eventually moved to Galesburg, Illinois, and began working at the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery at Proctor Hospital as a counselor and corporate services clinician. During his time there, Bob helped countless individuals and trained many future counselors. Giving back to those in need gave Bob a greater purpose. His focus was kindness and grace.

Bob was an avid reader, political history buff and believed in continual education. He even began giving tours at the Galesburg Railroad Museum and was proud of the rich history of trains coming in and out of Galesburg. He served for years as the lead election judge in Galesburg, approving the vote counts. From youth to recent years Bob loved spending summers in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, boating and being a member of the Blackhawk Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society. You could normally find Bob sitting on his back porch reading the Wall Street Journal while listening to the Chicago Cubs on WBBM radio. He mastered the use of a crock pot, with the grandkids requesting his special concoctions on a regular basis. He was an animated storyteller and especially loved to tell jokes. He had unwavering, deep admiration and love for Alice.

A memorial service will take place at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 31, 2024 at Watson Thomas Funeral Home in Galesburg, Illinois. Memorials can be made to the Galesburg Railroad Museum or the Knox County Humane Society in Bob’s name. Online expressions of sympathy may be sent to the family at

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